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Five things to know when the Sounders host LAFC

A plethora of returning players will look to lead the Sounders to three points against conference rivals LAFC

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Following a resounding 4-0 victory over Cascadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps, the Seattle Sounders will look to continue their hot run of form into the weekend. LAFC is the opponent, and it won’t be an easy task to claim the three points. Here are five things to know about the game:

New arrivals

Probably the most impressive thing about the Sounders' midweek win over the Whitecaps was that they did it without six of their ideal starters. Nouhou, Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Joao Paulo, Albert Rusnak, Cristian Roldan, and Jordan Morris didn’t see the field for various reasons. A real testament to just how deep the Sounders roster really is.

Fortunately, most of those players will once again be available against LAFC on Saturday. Roldan and Morris are back in Seattle following a successful camp with the United States, along with Rusnak who is also back from international duty with Slovakia. Nouhou was available against Vancouver, but did not play. Head coach Brian Schmetzer stated in a mid-week interview that Yeimar should be back from injury this weekend, although it may be too big of an ask for him to start in the match against LAFC.

Huge injury blow for the Sounders

The new additions to the matchday roster will be a huge boost to the Sounders' chances of snatching the three points against LAFC, but unfortunately, there will still be a massive roster exclusion. Peruvian striker Raul Ruidiaz will be unavailable for at least the next few games with a hamstring injury. He had scored seven goals in his past six games. Fredy Montero and Will Bruin will be relied upon to lead the front line for the next few weeks, or possibly beyond.

Formidable opponent

Getting a positive result against this LAFC team will be no easy task. The Black and Gold are currently sitting atop the Supporters’ Shield standings, and their gameplay through the first third of the MLS season has warranted it. Winter acquisitions Kelyn Acosta from Colorado Rapids, Ilie Sanchez from Sporting Kansas City, and Maxime Crepeau from Vancouver Whitecaps have already improved one of the most talented rosters in the league, and new head coach Steve Cherundolo has high ambitions. If anybody has the talent to stunt LAFC’s growing lead at the top of the table though, it’s the champions of Concacaf.

Home run continues

The streak of five home matches in a row for the Sounders has gone perfectly according to plan thus far. A 2-1 win over Charlotte FC and a 4-0 win over Vancouver have everyone feeling confident. LAFC is objectively the most difficult opponent the Sounders will have to face on this run, with SKC and CF Montreal next on the fixture list. A win against LAFC would send a big statement to the rest of the league that the Sounders are ready to make their push to the top of the standings.

Sounders have a great record against LAFC at Lumen Field

Saturday’s match will be the seventh all-time meeting between the two teams at Lumen Field, and the record clearly tips the scale in the Sounders’ direction. The Sounders hold a 4-1-1 record against LAFC at Lumen Field, and the only loss came all the way back in 2018 in LAFC’s inaugural game. A highly competitive match is certainly expected, but the stats don’t lie.

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